Since 2004, the
Designated Trauma Facilities and Emergency Medical Services Account (Account 5111) has helped offset uncompensated trauma care costs at Texas trauma hospitals. Texas hospitals annually bear more than $320 million in uncompensated trauma care costs. State and matching federal funding provides about $176.4 million annually to trauma hospitals.
A portion of the proceeds from the
Driver Responsibility Program (DRP), created by the Texas Legislature in 2003, has been the main source of funding for Account 5111. The DRP collects fines and surcharges from drivers with repeat moving violations and from drivers with DWI convictions. The program is intended to hold irresponsible drivers accountable for causing trauma and to partially offset hospitals’ uncompensated trauma care costs.
These much-needed funds are critical for maintaining a trauma safety net. They have also facilitated the expansion of trauma care and increased access to trauma services throughout the state. Since the inception of the DRP, nearly 80 additional Texas hospitals have been designated as trauma facilities. This expansion of the trauma network is particularly important to provide access to trauma services in rural areas of the state.
Maintaining Funding for the State’s Trauma Care Network
Texas has 283 designated life-saving trauma care facilities that provide care when and where it is needed in the event of a car accident, mass casualty event or other type of trauma incident. In these cases, time is the enemy and having a qualified trauma facility nearby can mean the difference between life and death.
Ensuring that the state’s trauma care network can continue to meet the needs of a rapidly growing population requires adequate funding.
Whether it is the DRP or another dedicated source, Texas hospitals and Texans need a stable source of trauma care funding.
The Texas Hospital Association tracks legislative and regulatory activity related to trauma/emergency care and funding to keep members informed.
The 86th Texas Legislative Session begins in January 2019.